IIHF Worlds: Au revoir Paris, Auf Wiedersehen Köln  

IIHF Worlds: Au revoir Paris, Auf Wiedersehen Köln  

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Image courtesy: www.swehockey.se

The IIHF worlds are over for this year, therefore I wave my hand and say Au Revoir Paris and Auf Wiedersehen Köln.

Quite a mediocre tournament when we look at the whole picture, despite some shining highlights every now and then from the actions on the ice.

Fans from Latvia, Switzerland, Russia and the home fans of Germany in Cologne and the home fans of France tried their absolute best to make it to a party though.

Well, it is always fun when the IIHF worlds are around and it is a quite familiar event, which is a nice opposite to the FIFA World Cup for example, and the UEFA tournament.

Although, this shared tournament between the cities of Paris and Cologne we won’t probably talk about for a longer time after today, only mentioning it (if it ever happens) over a cup of coffee.

But, I have made some rankings here in these following categories:

Were you even here?

Belarus, Italy and Slovakia, you were hardly noticed except for being an annoying part of the tournament, like a mosquito in the face while camping outdoors in a tent.

Italy I can myself understand; they lack the skill to challenge any nation really as they are still struggling to build their hockey culture beyond Bolzano.

But Belarus and Slovakia were truly a disappointment…again.

A friend might say “What about Slovenia?” Well, I’d say that Slovenia at least tried to do their best.

The biggest blow

Which one? Swiss – Slovenia? Finland – Czech Republic? Russia – Canada? Swiss – Canada? There are some games to choose from and those have been the most fun and made the tournament a bit more interesting than it actually was.

A small rise and a small fall

Latvia had a great start of the tournament but fell back, not too hard though. But even so, I was myself very pleased with their game and action on the ice, as I do see them “every day” in the KHL and know their potential.

Refuse to die despite being dead since a long time ago 

Fourth place in such a tournament as the IIHF Worlds for the Finns is essentially a win, certainly if we look at the first round and how their game was then. Horrible, disastrous, disgustingly awkward, you name it.

So, it’s a big wonder that they even reached the semis after beating the USA, which was also another mystery: how they could lose against Finland? God knows what really happened in that game.

Finland became that guy who just refuses to die despite being dead since a long time ago.

Good for the tournament

Some words about the home nations and their effort. It was good that Germany at least reached the knockout stage, for the home crowd and for the IIHF tournament.

France had potential but Bellemare, Fleury, the Da Costas and Huet didn’t really make it. Close perhaps but yet far away.

In general, a good effort from both hosting nations.

No big surprise

No big surprise that Russia, Sweden, and Canada end up as the medal nations this time.

Russia defeated a toothless Finland despite the fact that Finland scored 3 times when Russia had a 4-0 lead.  Kucherov closed the game finally with a fighting goal from in front of the Finnish net and Säteri.

A less strong Canada reached the final but Sweden, with a better keeper in Lundqvist than Canada’s respective, Pickard, drew the longer stick in the shootouts, and therefore are the World champions for the 10th time.

The final game was a very entertaining game, a game worthy of a final, and that saved the mediocre tournament a bit at the end.

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

-Seneca

Derek Jeter Day at SteinerSports.com